What's Stopping Nick Foles From Being the 3rd Best Quarterback in the Draft?

The race to be the third quarterback has officially begun. The draft process has started and the general belief is that Andrew Luck will be taken by the Indianapolis Colts number one overall and Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III will follow shortly after. Who comes behind those two, is anyone's guess. Ryan Tannehill was thought as the next best quarterback, but he broke his foot which will set him back in the evaluation process. Brandon Weeden had a great season for Oklahoma State, but he will be 29 half way into his rookie season. Many other names are going to be throw into the equation, but as it stands right now, nobody is a clear leader. Nick Foles might well be one of those names that could jump up above the rest of the pack (behind Luck and Griffin III). But what is it that's holding Foles back? I believe his biggest weakness is his footwork. He consistently struggles to step into his throws under pressure and when he has time in the pocket, he plants his foot to his left rather than in front of him. Let's have a look at the tape.

I'll start with the under pressure throws. When his pocket starts to close in on him, he plants his front foot and rocks off his back foot to throw instead of stepping into the throw.

Underpressurethrow1a_medium

Here the pocket has started to push back on him. I've circled his front foot. He plants it here just before he winds up to throw.

Underpressurethrow1b_medium

Notice how his front foot remains planted, but he takes a half step back with his right foot to help build up power into his throw.

Underpressurethrow1c_medium

As Foles goes to throw, you can see his front foot is still in pretty much the same spot it was before. He hasn't stepped forward into the throw to help him transfer his weight and get torque behind his throw.

Underpressurethrow1d_medium

After the ball is released, his foot is still planted in the same position. He completely fails to step into his throw, but rather, he almost leans into it. It's closer to a back-foot throw, and will suffer similar results, mainly having little velocity behind the throw.

When a team can get consistent pressure, it can mess with Foles' footwork. When he gets into the rhythm of leaning into throws instead of stepping into them because of a pass-rush, it begins to become natural to him even when he has a clean pocket.

Notstepingintothrow1a_medium

Here we are later in the game. Foles has a clean pocket to throw from, but because he's been previously under pressure, his muscle memory makes him fall into bad habits. He plants his foot before he winds up.

Notstepingintothrow1b_medium

Foles again leans into the throw, which again means he can't properly transfer his weight to his front foot and put as much velocity behind the throw. He ends up under throwing his receiver and nearly gets intercepted by a trailing cornerback.

The other thing I've noticed with Foles is that he will occasionally fall into a trend of opening his body too much. This happens when he plants his front foot more to his left than in front of him.

Sidestepthrow1a_medium

His feet are fine here as he targets his receiver running a slant to his left.

Sidestepthrow1b_medium

Notice how wide he steps. He's almost front on to his receiver because of how wide that step is. This means he can't open his hips much more than they are already, limiting his ability to generate power into his throw.

Sidestepthrow1d_medium

Which is evident here, as the receiver has to dive back towards the ball to try and catch it. In the end, the ball is ruled incomplete.

These are huge issues that Foles will need to work on and improve throughout the draft process if he hopes to be the third quarterback taken. Do you guys believe he can overcome this issues? Should he be the third quarterback taken? Should he be a first rounder? Let me know in the comments.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.